Dave’s big day of winning ways for teens

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David Barrie… “We show teenagers where we go, the books we read, the podcasts we listen to.” Photo by Danielle Nohra

AFTER 15 years in the making, Dave Barrie’s childhood dream to run a school initiative to “train teenagers” will come true on November 19 when he goes into St Edmund’s College and takes over year 10 for the day.

“Basically, we need to start altering the curriculum and what we teach in schools in a big way,” says Dave, 31, of Crace.

“I’ve seen the gap in the education system and in the years ahead I’ll be the drill that’ll fill in the gaps.”

Titled “Everybody Wins”, Dave – a personal development trainer – will run sessions on leadership and how to deal with emotions, while three-time champion fitness model Ben “AbStacker” Handsaker and two-time world champion fitness model Hattie Boydle will talk about exercise and nutrition.

Dave says the year 10 boys will also learn financial skills from “leading accountant” David Ross.

“They’re some of the best at what they do in Australia,” he says.

Dave’s pitched the initiative for year 10 students because, he says, that’s the age where people are struggling with their identity.

“They might not be able to be true to themselves,” he says.

“But we set them up to win. We show them where we go, the books we read, the podcasts we listen to.”

It was at the age of 15 at Yass High when Dave, an active sportsperson, decided he wanted to bring sports champions to Australian schools to train teenagers.

But it hasn’t been an easy path for Dave, who faced obstacles such as being turned on by his peer group in high school and then in his 20s being  sexually abused.

Regardless of these challenges he says he chose to not dwell on them or “become a victim of the world”.

“My peer group would turn on me because I would calmly call them out for social injustice for other people who weren’t able to defend themselves,” he says.

With the right coaching, personal application and effort, Dave believes people’s lives can improve dramatically.

“You’re able to radically change your life at any time,” he says.

“You can have your childhood dreams. It’s a choice to be a victim of the world. It might meet the victim’s needs in the short term. I’m giving them the option of which road they choose.”

As part of the initiative Dave says a workbook will be given to the students so they can share it with parents, family members and friends, and become familiar with the fundamental principles of personal development.

“It’s our invitation for all people to understand how to radically transform their quality of life at any time,” he says.

“People who overcome tremendous adversity and continually keep defying the odds and still achieve at the highest levels don’t because it’s an accident.

“They operate differently, believe different things and play full-out.”

Connecting the dots early on, Dave says he can do what schools can’t and is in the process of challenging the ACT government for funding so he’s able to bring the initiative on an ongoing basis to more schools.

“I need to pressure them and once we can show them that we can do this, then we can train children quicker and more effectively than what they have,” he says.


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Danielle Nohra
Danielle Nohra is the assistant editor of "CityNews".

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